Restrictions on businesses and stay-at-home orders caused financial distress to plenty of businesses of all sizes and millions of people. The past years have been the “worst of times” for many of us. Neville Christie, a highly experienced entrepreneur and business mentor mentioned in an episode of DevReady Podcast that this pandemic has started a whole series of changes that will ripple on for the whole decade. Read below to learn more about the ripple effects of Covid-19 in entrepreneurial life.
“This pandemic has caused and is causing such a huge degree of change globally in just about everything we see: society, business, economics, politics.”
Some people have been out of work for months, and the surge in unemployment benefit applications has overwhelmed many state government systems, leaving people unable to pay for basic necessities such as rent, food, and transportation.
But despite the chaos and uncertainty, we see resilience in how entrepreneurs navigated the crisis by being agile and adaptive. They have explored new opportunities and utilized government assistance, gave back to society, and even harbour growth ambitions beyond the pandemic.
As a matter of fact, during the pandemic, 68% of the entrepreneurs surveyed adapted their business plans, and nearly 40 per cent saw new business opportunities. These opportunities ranged from digitalization to health and well-being to local vs. global business focus, sustainability, and new business models.
It’s unclear which industries will return to normalcy after the pandemic. In fact, according to a recent KPMG survey of 140 CEOs of companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue, one in every five stated that business has been forever changed.
The Entrepreneurial Life After Covid
Increase in remote work
We’re all aware that work will never be the same again, even if we don’t yet know all of the ways it will be different. We are used to the 9-6 or 8-5 shift, or whatever, but the pandemic gave us the opportunity to free ourselves from bad office habits, from ineffective meetings to unnecessary bureaucracy.
We can say with certainty that the abrupt shift to distributed work has provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine everything about how we do our jobs and run our businesses. A Gartner survey showed that 48% will most likely work remotely after Covid, compared to the 30% during the pandemic.
But not all of us like to work at home. Many people struggled with mental health issues. According to a 2021 poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy research organisation, stress related to the pandemic has negatively impacted the mental health of 53% of American adults.
The Centre for Mental Health in the United Kingdom anticipates that coronavirus will cause half a million more people to experience poor mental health than in a typical year.
“Living in a box is not something most of us enjoy, that’s what we like to get out of our homes.” – Anthony
Re-assessing growth opportunities
Companies that want to come out of the crisis stronger must develop a systematic understanding of changing habits. For many businesses, this will necessitate the development of a new process for detecting and assessing shifts.
· Map the potential ramifications of behavioural trends in order to identify specific products or business opportunities that are likely to grow or contract as a result.
· Classify behavioural changes based on whether they are likely to be short-term or long-term, and whether they existed prior to the pandemic.
Reconfiguring business model
“Create a new future based on new realities.” – Neville Christie
Your new business model will be shaped by shifts in demand and supply in your industry. Many manufacturing firms, for example, will be profoundly impacted by the pandemic’s structural and likely permanent shocks to globalisation.
To determine what business model the new normal necessitates, you must first ask fundamental questions about how you will create and deliver value, who you will partner with, and who your customers will be.
· Which platforms should you use?
· Can you broaden your customer base?
Reimagining a new future and ways of working
Communication is essential in these new work setups. Increase your daily communication and try to eliminate as much uncertainty as possible to keep your employees’ morale high. Take care of them, safeguard them, and ensure their health and safety.
Be clear and honest with your teams about what you know and don’t know.
Keep in mind that while remote working provides more flexibility, it also kills some of the chemistry of creativity.
Trust and humility are essential for reinventing or innovating your management practices. Bring your teams closer together. Managerial innovation may entail less control and more trust.
The greatest opportunities come out of the greatest crisis
This pandemic led us to expect new ways of life to emerge, creating new needs and, in turn, new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Some new business models and offers centred on dematerialization will have to be developed.
Some companies will continue to shift their focus, and maybe their entire business – and this will lead to previously unseen innovations, ideas, and opportunities.
When we identify a possibility, a threat, or an opportunity, it leads to change.
While it is impossible to predict what will happen next, it is possible to draw on the lessons of the past few months and see them as opportunities for growth. Businesses must work to respond to the current crisis while also preparing to thrive in a new reality that emphasizes agility, digitization, and multi-stakeholder collaboration.
Here are two encouraging thoughts to keep in mind at all times:
· Entrepreneurs are fighters. They are optimistic and resilient by nature.
· Every crisis has a conclusion. This will be the signal for entrepreneurs to try something new